What I Write About

I write about the infinite number of intersections between every day life and the good news of the God who has come to get us.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Post-First-NIT-Win-Euphoria Grab-Bag: Tribe Pride, Tar Heel Codependence, and Cheering for the Pack

So I realize that not everyone cares about UNC basketball.

But after last night's heady win against the William and Mary Tribe (and given that I had the pleasure of getting to know many kind and warm Tribe alum in my nine years living in Richmond) I feel that there is much to talk about.

So without further ado, here's my first (and hopefully last ever) NIT Grab-Bag:

-Along with many other UNC fans, I'm conflicted about being in the NIT at all. Several weeks ago, I was all for it. This team needed playing time, more practice, more reps, more games.

But as the season wore on, a sudden realization hit me: this team doesn't need more practice. No amount of practice is going to make this a good team. This team needs to be dismantled and re-booted next school year. They stink.

I was hoping we wouldn't even get invited. But we did, and at least one win in the tournament proves that we belong in the tournament. Not sure if that's a good thing, but there it is.

And I gotta' say, winning last night's game made me a believer that this is, after all, probably a good thing for our young and fragile little team.

-I'm grateful for my William and Mary friends who taught me some important bits of W&M information.

For example, the most common cheer at a William and Mary sporting event is (or at least was at one point) a call-and-response between the fans. One set of fans shouts: "TRIBE PRIDE!" And the rest of the fans respond: "GET SOME!"

Now I find this to be a singularly strange phenomenon. Going to college at UNC, we had many cheers directed to the athletes on the field of battle (as in the simple, "Go, tarheels, go!"). And we had some cheers directed at mocking the other team (as in the perennial Clemson favorite taunt: "ORANGE. IS. UGLY!").

But never in all my days of fandom have I ever experienced a cheer that is fundamentally directed at the other fans, exhorting them to engage in more rabid fan-like behavior.

-Having dispatched the Tribe and their sweetly self-encouraging fans, I'm particularly enthralled at the prospect of being in the same bracket at NC State. Just one win each away from a third-times-a-charm rematch of our favorite team in the ACC. I will be thoroughly pulling for an NC State victory against UAB.

-Finally, I have to confess that I am less dialed into the Big Dance given the lack of Tar Heel presence. I suppose this is the litmus test of true fan-dom. I will watch professional football no matter who's playing--I just love the game.

And I love college basketball. But I actually have a deep affinity (okay, unhealthy/co-dependent relationship) with one team in particular. And they're playing in the "Not In the Tournament" tournament.

I've still got my brackets picked out. And I'll be tuning in if nothing else than in the hopes that Dook gets exposed for the weak team that it is.

But in the mean time, I've gotta' brush up on Mississippi State--we play them in our next NIT game and I want to be fully prepared in case we actually show up and play like a real basketball team.

1 comment:

Mary Jane said...

I felt the same way about not even wanting an NIT bid. I'm happy that we won the other night but I still can't help thinking "someone just needs to shoot this horse" and put it (and us) out of misery.